According to a survey by Aspect, 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them, with 60% having higher expectations from customer service now than they did 1 year ago. This is why many UK contact centres in 2016 have been focusing their attention on creating the perfect customer journey by making improvements to their customer service operations.
If you’re looking to create the perfect caller journey for your contact centre, here are 7 things you need to do:
1 – Ensure the customer lifecycle is understood by your agents
It is important that your agents understand the journey your customers go through and their different needs at different stages, e.g. customers in the aftercare stage will need a different approach to those yet to purchase. Training, quality assessment and even agent skill sets all need to be adapted to suit the different customer needs at each point in their journey.
2 – Make it suit your brand
If your customer base has a lot of brand equity (e.g. it is highly recognised and valued), they will require less persuasion in the build-up to making a purchase, however their experience should reflect their expectations of dealing with your brand. For example the difference in tone of voice for a purchase that such as a holiday or city break will be far more upbeat that one which is more of an obligation such as paying a parking fine, which will be professional, polite but perhaps not with any undertones of humour or excitement!
3 – Understand key pain points
Understanding the key pain points in your caller journey will highlight where you are most likely to lose customers. Focus your effort into minimalizing the customer pain as much as possible. For example, if waiting times are higher on week day evenings due to higher call volumes, rota more agents to work these busy periods or consider using an outsourced call handling specialist.
4 – Use customer insight
When mapping your customer experience, it is important to consult people outside of the operation. If, for example your IVR or internal skills distribution and operating model has been in place for some time, internally focused teams may have the belief that it is fit for purpose, however this may not reflect the changing needs of customers, and fresh, expert eyes will often identify where improvements can be made. Collect data from several different types of customer and map out their journeys, rather than plotting one single process that all customers will follow. In short, listen to what your customers are telling you they need, and adapt accordingly.
5 – Do not focus too much on internal processes
Your internal processes should fit your caller’s needs, not the other way around. Understanding how and when the customer wants to buy and how and when they want to get in contact with your business should form your internal process.
6 – Set clear objectives
Setting clear objectives (and KPIs) at each stage of the caller journey will give it a purpose, and highlight what customers need at each interaction with your business.
7 – Integrate your multi-channel system
Many customer service departments operate multi-channel operations, and it is possible that customers will use several different channels to their effort to solve their problem. Because of this, situations can arise where one customer is being dealt with by several different agents in different channels. Ensuring that you analyse all customer interactions in one system, regardless of the channel, will streamline the journey for both the customer and the business.